two children in a pool

Are you thinking ahead to the warmer months about encouraging your family to get outdoors more, especially given the months of quarantining we just endured. You may be thinking about a pool or possibly a trampoline to get your young ones moving again. In the insurance world, backyard items like swimming pools and trampolines are considered “attractive nuisances.” These additions to a property can impact your homeowner’s policy and potentially be a liability concern. Before you invest in a pool or trampoline, be sure to talk to your homeowner’s insurance agent about how this may impact your premium and liability coverage. 

What is an Attractive Nuisance? 

An “attractive nuisance” is something on your property that draws children in but could threaten them with harm. A trampoline or pool are two such items that may entice a young child to enter a property, whether they have permission or not. 

Other examples of attractive nuisances include: railroads, construction sites, artificial ponds and fountains, abandoned cars, and discarded appliances. For our purposes today, we are examining the two most popular “nuisances” common in our society: swimming pools and trampolines. 

How Does Liability Coverage Play A Role in an Attractive Nuisance? 

As the homeowner of a pool or trampoline, you are liable for any child that uses it, whether they have permission or not. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy, more than 1,000 children drown in swimming pools in the U.S. each year and many more are injured. The numbers are equally astounding for trampoline accidents

Due to these common accidents with a pool or trampoline, the standard amount of liability protection in most insurance policies may not be adequate. Typically, policies include $100,000 of liability protection, but it is widely recommended that policyholders with swimming pools purchase as much as $500,000. This coverage would, of course, change your premium amount. 

To deal with the increased liability level, homeowners could increase the limit of their personal liability insurance or purchase a separate umbrella policy, which would cover the cost of any liability claim up to the limit of the umbrella policy.

Methods Homeowners Can Protect Themselves 

If you have weighed the usefulness, cost, and potential for harm for the attractive nuisance to be in your backyard and you still have decided to go ahead with getting that pool or trampoline, you will want to take some steps to safeguard your property. 

Some of the most straightforward methods to keep children out of your yard and protect themselves from potential danger is to install a locking fence, gates at entry points, and potentially pool alarms that will alert you to trespassers on your property. Insurance providers may suggest other methods such as a retractable pool cover or surveillance to protect your property from children wandering into a dangerous situation. 

Backyard fun is a part of the American culture. Just be sure you have taken every precaution and safeguard to protect your family, children who may use your yard, and ultimately your insurance premiums. Install gates, fences, alarms, and security systems that can help keep everyone in your vicinity safe.